Julian Assange's partially self imposed incarceration in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London continues to ruffle feathers. A diplomatic row has blown up following a threat by the British authorities to enter the Embassy and Ecuador officially agreeing to give Assange Asylum.
Such is the fall-out that members of the OAS, Organisation of American States, have agreed to meet to discuss the matter. A vote was held to decide whether or not to hold the meeting. Three member countries opposed the meeting. One of these was the USA. Now why would that be? Canada plus Trinidad and Tobago voted with the US. 23 members voted to hold the meeting whilst there were three no shows and five abstentions.
The meeting will be held on Friday August 24, 2012, in Washington DC. According to the OAS on the agenda will be, "the problem posed by the threat or warning made to Ecuador by the possibility of an intervention into its embassy in London". "What is being proposed is that the foreign ministers of our organisation address this subject and not the subject of asylum nor whether it should be granted to Mr Julian Assange." "That will be discussed between Great Britain and Ecuador, the issue that concerns us is the inviolability of diplomatic missions of all members of this organisation, something that is of interest to all of us."
Ecuador have stated that they gave Assange asylum as there were no guarantees that extradition to Sweden would not lead to extradition to the USA.
According to the Media of the UK, "the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 could allow revocation of a building's diplomatic status if the foreign power occupying it "ceases to use land for the purposes of its mission or exclusively for the purposes of a consular post".
Whether aslyum for Julian fits into that category is debatable. The authorities will need to tread carefully to avoid a full blown international crisis. Entering a foreign Embassy can be viewed as an act of aggression. British authorities are now trying to play the matter down.
An "extraordinary meeting of the South American nations will be held in Ecuador tomorrow, Sunday August 18.